Letters for April 12, 2015

• Gun owners are not the problem • Criminals are the problem

Gun owners are not the problem

Hawaii has strict gun laws, background checks, medical records and training courses. For example, if you have a marijuana card you can’t purchase a firearm. I agree with gun laws in the sense that any yahoo can’t just go buy one, many safeguards are already in place. No matter how restrictive the laws are, criminals will find a way. Cities like Chicago and New York are in states that have the strictest laws and have the highest gun crime rates.

They are just as restrictive as us, if not more. Hawaii has a lot of gun owners but has the least amount of gun crime behind Rhode Island. People overlook the fact that 80 percent of gun violence and homicides (excluding suicide) are gang related.

This is based on data collected by the National Gang Center, the government agency responsible for cataloging gang violence. Real stats. People think we have the second-lowest gun crime rate because of the gun laws. I believe it’s due to the fact that we don’t have gangs with illegal guns shooting everyone they see wearing the wrong color or being on their turf.

A solution lowering gun violence is simple: target the gangs, their access to illegal weapons and suppliers. Gun violence will plummet overnight. A war on illegal would lower the stats that anti-gunners tout dramatically.

Checks and balances are in place; it’s the people that don’t comply. They are breaking the law. Don’t demonize legal, responsible owners. We are not the problem, please do some research.

Dan O’Flaherty

Kapaa

Criminals are the problem

The TGI Forum should have in capital letters: “The following letters are strictly opinions and not necessarily based upon any factual information.” Such is the case of Steven McMacken’s letter titled “Loose gun laws, higher rate of violence.” No studies were cited because all unbiased studies prove just the opposite, that cities and states within the U.S. that allow their citizens to legally carry concealed weapons have a lower rate of violence than those with more restrictive gun laws. The nine states with the lowest violent crime rates are all right-to-carry-states. (http://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/gun-control-myths-realities)

Take a look at the poster boys for gun control, Chicago and Washington, D.C. Even with their tight gun control bans in place they lead the nation in violent gun crimes (http://crimepreventionresearchcenter.org/2013/12/murder-and-homicide-rates-before-and-after-gun-bans/).

Duke University says the “fact” of homicides tripling in homes that have a gun has been roundly found untrue. (http://people.duke.edu/~gnsmith/articles/myths.htm)

If someone wants to commit suicide or murder a loved one, guns will certainly do it but that won’t stop anyone because they don’t have a firearm. Just a few days ago a 100-year-old man hacked his wife to death with an ax and then slit his own wrists. (http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/prosecutor-100-year-man-killed-wife-ax-30126387)

Here is a good example of when seconds count the police are just minutes away: A young mother brutally beaten by a home invader. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pPe1G_IP_ZY)

A thug is much less likely to victimize a person if they think they might be armed. (https://www.justfacts.com/guncontrol.asp)

Mr. McMacken’s last question, “Are strict gun laws a deterrent to people who want to become gun owners? I should certainly hope so,” completely misses the point that the vast majority of gun owners, especially those that have gone to the trouble (as they should) to get properly trained and acquire concealed weapons permits are not the problem. Criminals are the problem and we need the ability to protect ourselves and our loved ones from them. No one should have to cower in their homes or walk the streets in fear of violence. Responsible citizens, properly trained in the use of firearms is the greatest crime deterrent there is and those are the facts.

Stan Lake

Kalaheo

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